Get Our Email Newsletter

Retail Workforce Could Face Permanent Decline from Pandemic, Lockdowns

As the retail industry undergoes a seismic shift because of the coronavirus pandemic, its workforce is more vulnerable than ever. Permanent store closures number in the thousands, putting them on pace to break records. Dozens of retailers have filed for bankruptcy — while others remain at risk. Meantime, a growing number of customers want to shop online and get their purchases through curbside pickup or home delivery, creating a much greater need for people to pick and pack items.

These fast-changing dynamics have led to a shakeout for workers. They’ve been hired, furloughed, laid off or assigned to new roles. Retailers, analysts and trade groups say the pandemic could change the size and makeup of the retail industry now, and for years to come.

More than one in four American jobs were supported by the retail industry before the Covid-19 crisis hit the US, according to the National Retail Federation. That made retail the largest private sector-employer in the country. (That number includes people who work directly for a retailer, like at an apparel store, warehouse or coffee shop. It also includes jobs created by the industry, such as construction workers building a mall.)

- Digital Partner -

During the pandemic, the number of workers in stores has gotten smaller, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 15.7 million were employed by retailers in February. That dropped by about 2.4 million in March and April, but recovered somewhat in May and June as stores began to reopen. About 14.4 million employees made up the workforce, as of June…  CNBC News

Loss Prevention Magazine updates delivered to your inbox

Get the free daily newsletter read by thousands of loss prevention professionals, security, and retail management from the store level to the c-suite.

What's New

Digital Partners

Become a Digital Partner

Violence in the Workplace

Download this 34-page special report from Loss Prevention Magazine about types and frequency of violent incidents, impacts on employees and customers, effectiveness of tools and training, and much more.


View All | Sponsor a Webinar


View All | Submit a Whitepaper

LP Solutions

View All | Submit Your Content

Loss Prevention Media Logo

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

The trusted newsletter for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management. Get the latest news, best practices, technology updates, management tips, career opportunities and more.

No, thank you.

View our privacy policy.